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European Court of Human Rights Holds Georgian Authorities Responsible for Homophobic Violence | Council of Europe

In today’s Chamber judgment in the case of Identoba and Others v. Georgia (application no. 73235/12) the European Court of Human Rights held by a majority, that there had been a violation of Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment) taken in conjunction with Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination) of the European Convention on Human Rights, and unanimously, that there had been a violation of Article 11 (freedom of assembly and association) in conjunction with Article 14.

The case concerned a peaceful demonstration in Tbilisi in May 2012 to mark the International Day against Homophobia, which was violently disrupted by counter-demonstrators outnumbering the marchers.

The Court considered in particular that the authorities knew or ought to have known of the risks surrounding the demonstration. They had therefore been under an obligation – but had failed – to provide adequate protection so that it could be held peacefully

The Court stressed that Art. 14 of the European Convention of Human Rights prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The authorities should have ensured more police manpower by mobilising, for instance, a squad of anti-riot police, and state authorities have the duty to take all reasonable steps to unmask possible discriminatory motives, the Court said. Discriminatory remarks and insults must in any event be considered as an aggravating factor, it made clear.

The Judgment

Helmut Graupner


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